Coach Dave Patrisso's girls posted a winning league record and then a District Two playoff victory.
Over the course of the past 10 years, the Lady Hornets softball team has made a habit of posting winning seasons, challenging for a division title and making noise at districts.
This year was no exception as the Red & Black went 7-6 in a rugged Lackawanna League and earned a home playoff game in the Class AAA tourney.
Led by Faith Decker and Mackenzie Dirlam, Honesdale romped to a 16-1 rout of Pittston Area in the first round.
Sadly, the Lady Hornets' season came to an end in the quarterfinals with a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to eventual champion Berwick
It was a tough way to end the year, but a performance that also bodes well for the program's future.
“I am just ecstatic about how the girls played this year, especially down the stretch,” said Head Coach Dave Patrisso.
“We really ended the season on a strong note and I think that gives us momentum heading into next year.”
On Tuesday evening at the high school, friends, fans and family members gathered in the cafeteria to celebrate yet another solid diamond season.
Any discussion about the 2014 season must begin with Decker and Dirlam.
These two seniors provided leadership on and off the field, which was invaluable on a younger and somewhat inexperienced squad.
Decker capped her varsity career as one of the truly elite pitchers in the Lackawanna League.
A battle-tested veteran with pinpoint control and a dazzling array of pitches, Decker posted an overall record of 11-8. She worked 106 innings, struck out 54 and walked just 12.
Decker's ERA was a stellar 2.76 with a WHIP of 1.35.
She was also a force with the bat, hitting a robust .380 for the season. Faith banged out 20 hits and collected an even dozen RBIs.
“I think Faith is one of the most complete players in the area,” Coach Patrisso said. “She's not only an outstanding pitcher, but she's also a dangerous hitter.
“For the past three years, Faith has given us a real chance to win every time she steps on the field.”
Dirlam began her varsity career as a pitcher, too, but unselfishly accepted a move to catcher and thrived.
Mackenzie rapped out a team-best 24 hits, including five doubles, two triples and one homer. She scored 13 runs and drove in 16 more.
“The thing that I like most about Mackenzie is that she's a great leader,” said Coach Patrisso.
“Mackenzie worked very hard on her game the past few years and it shows. She made herself into a terrific catcher and one of the most feared hitters around.”
Stacey Hart and Megan Benson also played key roles for the Lady Hornets.
A returning First Team Lackawanna League All Star, Hart enjoyed a stellar season both at shortstop and at the plate.
Stacey batted .350 for the year, scoring 14 runs and picking up a team-high 18 RBIs. She roped five doubles, stole three bases and struck out just four times in 57 at-bats.
Hart closed out the year on a high note, enjoying a perfect 3-for-3 day in the D-2 loss at Berwick.
“I would rank Stacey Hart right up there with the best softball players in the league,” Coach Patrisso said. “She led the team in RBIs, which I personally think is the most important offensive stat we keep.”
Benson evolved into one of the league's top lead-off hitters this spring.
A multi-sport standout who also excels in field hockey, Megan batted .390. She scored a team-best 15 runs, swiped five bases and also led the Lady Hornets with 10 walks.
Benson also finished up strong, going 2-for-4 in season finale against Berwick.
Taylor Parenti, Alyvea Scarfalloto and Amber Watkins made crucial contributions to the team as well.
Parenti took over at the Hot Corner for good early in the season and flourished. Taylor roped 12 hits, tallied nine times and drove in nine.
Scarfalloto is still just a sophomore, but battled her way into the starting varsity line-up and made a name for herself along the way.
Alyvea batted .280 with 11 runs scored and 11 RBIs. She ripped four doubles and a triple while also working six walks.
Watkins wound up with a .320 batting average. She came through in the clutch, collecting 12 RBIs. Amber also tallied seven runs, stroked two doubles and a three-bagger.
Jackie Gallik and Jaclyn Martin were key cogs in the Lady Hornet offensive machine this spring.
Gallik flashed Gold Glove leather in centerfield and also chipped in with big plate appearances.
Jackie scored 14 runs, drove in 10 and led the team with seven sacrifice bunts.
Martin posted a solid .270 batting average. She tallied 12 runs and accumulated seven RBIs.